Ronald Bolanos seems to enjoy taking the mound on Sunday afternoons.
San Diego's No. 17 prospect scattered four hits and a walk while fanning eight over six scoreless innings as Double-A Amarillo defeated Arkansas, 5-2, at Dickey-Stephens Park.
Video: Sod Poodles Bolanos gets swinging punchout
It was the second straight Sunday in which Bolanos posted six zeros. On Aug. 18 against Frisco, he worked around three hits and three walks to earn the victory for the Sod Poodles.
"He can do anything he wants to do," Amarillo pitching coach Jimmy Jones said. "He can spin the ball real well. He has a good changeup and a good fastball."
The 6-foot-3 right-hander gave a single with one out in the first inning to fourth-ranked Mariners prospect Evan White, but consecutive flyouts to San Diego's No. 2 prospect Taylor Trammell in center field ended the frame.
Gameday box score
After a perfect second, Bolanos found himself in trouble following three straight two-out singles by Jordan Cowan, White and Seattle's top prospect Jarred Kelenic. The 23-year-old induced a flyout from Luis Liberato to end the threat.
A walk by Cowan in the fifth was all the Travelers mustered against Bolanos the rest of the way as he extended his scoreless streak to 12 innings.
Since joining the Poodles on June 4, the Cuba native has posted a 4.16 ERA with 86 strikeouts over 75 2/3 innings. Bolanos held hitters to a .193 average while racking up 54 strikeouts and a 2.85 ERA in 10 starts at Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore to start the season.
Jones has seen the most improvement from his righty when it comes to attacking the zone.
"When we talk about consistency, we are talking about the ability to throw strikes and not just your fastball," he said. "Being able to spin a ball for a strike when you need to early in the count or pitch backwards with your changeup. That's the things you need to do as a pitcher to be in the big leagues for a long time. From what I have seen of him, he's getting more consistent because he is getting more reps."
Every time Bolanos takes the mound, it gives Amarillo's team energy a boost, according to Jones. He attributed that to coaches and teammates taking note of his ability.
"It is kind of special when you see a guy that is able to spin a ball or be able to throw his fastball at different speed and have the ability to throw at an extra velocity as well," Jones said. "There's a lot of confidence in him when he goes out on the mound."
2019 MiLB include
Throwing 51 of 75 pitches for strikes, Bolanos was efficient but exited after the sixth. Jones explained it was not due to a short leash, but because his hurlers in the bullpen needed some work.
"It was a hot and muggy day and he's out there doing what he needed to do," the coach said. "We just needed to get a couple of other guys in there and it worked out well."
Right-hander Nick Kuzia allowed two runs on three hits while whiffing one over two-thirds of an inning of relief. Dauris Valdez, a 6-foot-8 righty, followed by striking out four over 1 1/3 frames and righty David Bednar picked up the save after allowing a hit and fanning two in a scoreless ninth.
Ivan Castillo belted a solo homer to lead off the third to put the Poodles on the board. Luis Torrens, Kyle Overstreet and A.J. Kennedy added an RBI apiece.